To live and work in the country, you need to apply for a New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa. Before we get into the details of visa, here are a few words about New Zealand. The country boasts of panoramic beauty, great educational facilities, friendly people and a ‘can do’ attitude to life.
The island country is a favored destination not only for holidays but also for people looking for a new place to work in. If your skill lies in the field of agriculture, forestry, construction, education, engineering, oil, science etc, this may be the ideal place for you. And here’s how you can apply for this visa.
New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa – What are the basic criteria?
To be eligible for the Visa, certain conditions must be met.
Only applicants below the age of 56 years may apply for this visa. The age of the applicant also influences his or her score on the New Zealand Emigration points scale. For example, individuals between the age of 20-39 will get 30 points while those between 50-55 years will only get 5 points.
New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa applicants must be of good character. This means that the applicant should not be considered a threat to the public interest of New Zealand. A police clearance certificate is needed to prove good character. Some of the conditions that should be met include:
- The applicant should not have been convicted or imprisoned.
- The applicant should not have been deported from New Zealand or any other country earlier.
- The applicant should not have been involved in any terrorist activities.
- The applicant should not be likely to commit or assist any criminal or drug-related activities.
Applicants must be in good health when applying for a Skilled Migrant Visa. They must not make any significant demands on the health services available in New Zealand. To prove this, you will need to provide a medical certificate and chest X-rays. Children under the age of 11 years and pregnant women are exempt from this.
Not all occupation are eligible for this visa. Only applicants qualified to work in an occupation listed on the New Zealand skilled occupation lists are eligible for the skilled migrant visa. There are 4 such lists. Applicants qualified for occupations appearing on the Long Term Skilled Shortage List and Immediate Skilled Shortage List can get extra points. The applicant must be currently employed in the chosen field or have an offer letter from a company in this field.
Visa applicants and all family members above the age of 16 years must meet the minimum English language requirements. This is measured as a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 for primary applicants and 5 for non-principal applicants.
Calculating Points for New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa Eligibility
New Zealand follows a point based system for visa eligibility. To qualify for a Skilled Migrant Visa, a minimum score of 160 points is required. Points are awarded for the applicants’ age, work status, the area of work, work experience and training. For example, applicants currently employed in an occupation that features on a New Zealand skilled occupation list get 50 points for skilled employment.
If they are employed outside Auckland, they will be given 10 bonus points as well. 2 years of work experience is equivalent to 10 points. For every additional 2 years this score increase by 10 till it reaches a score of 50 points. The primary applicant’s partner’s work experience and education are also factored into the point scale.
Expression of Interest
The first step to applying for this visa is to submit an Expression of Interest. This must be submitted only if you are sure that you meet the minimum eligibility requirements. An Expression of Interest allows the New Zealand immigration services to assess your age, character, health, English skills and occupation.
This may be completed and submitted online. An Expression of Interest is valid for 6 months. A non-refundable immigration fee will also need to be paid while submitting an Expression of Interest. This can be paid by credit card or a bank draft.
Invitation to Apply for Residence
Approximately every 2 two weeks Expressions of Interest with 160 points or more are selected from the pool of applications. These applicants are then invited to formally apply for residence in New Zealand. This application needs to be accompanied by evidence of all claims made in the Expression of Interest.
It is advisable to submit this application as soon as possible as the date it is submitted on will determine the policy it is to be assessed against. For example, a change might have been made to the immigration policy on 25th January. If your application was submitted on the 24th of January, it will not be affected by the new rules.
Assessing the application for residence can take up to 6 months. During this time, the New Zealand immigration services will assess the evidence provided with the application. They will also evaluate the applicant’s ability to contribute to the country’s development. Successful applicants will then be issued a job search visa or resident visa.